Americans are now not always tipping servers, hair salon stylists and taxi drivers—and even when they do, they are giving them less than they did before the pandemic, a recent creditcards.com survey found.
While Americans have vowed to become better tippers, economic factors like inflation and lower savings rates may be causing a change in sentiment.
Senior industry analyst at Creditcards.com, Ted Rossman, says, “Tipping was already a confusing topic. The pandemic has made it even more so. While more than a third of Americans pledged to become better tippers in 2020 and 2021, it seems that sentiment has worn off. Inflation is cutting into consumers’ purchasing power, and a tight labor market has left many service industry businesses understaffed and struggling to provide top-notch customer experiences.”
In a separate study that may reinforce Bankrate’s data, digital payments company Square in March also found that tips at quick-service restaurants and hair salons, are down.
Adults who report always tipping restaurant servers has declined from 77% in 2019, the last year before COVID, to 73% in 2022. Tips to food delivery people have additionally declined from 63% in 2019 to 57% currently, and tips to taxi drivers also declined, from 49% in 2019 to 43% this year. Finally, tips to coffee shop baristas saw a less drastic decline, with 24% of adults saying they always tipped in 2019, compared to 22% this year.
The study additionally found men and women give a median tip of 20% at restaurants, but men on average tip slightly higher, at a rate of 22%, compared to a rate of 20% for women.
YouGov conducted the online survey among 2,610 adults, from May 11 to May 13, 2022.
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